Customer Service Hell Blog

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Wal-Mart#1 Why Don't You Want To Sell Us a High End Product

Dear Wal-Mart

June 2005

This is perhaps a funny thing... but for over 7 months, my husband and I have been trying to buy a digital camera from your Wal-Mart in Ocala. We are curious as to whether Wal-Mart actually wants us to spend our money in your store.

A few days before Christmas, my husband and I went to Wal-Mart with the intention of purchasing a digital camera. After waiting for 20 minutes or so for the customer service representative in the photo area to finish with her photo-processing, we were informed that none of the cameras that were on display, which we had an interest in purchasing, were in stock.

We could understand this, being as it was a few days before Christmas, and so we resolved to come back after Christmas and purchase our camera then. We wrote down the make and model of the camera we wanted to purchase later.

We did return a few weeks after Christmas on a couple of occasions and were told that the store had not finished re-stocking for after Christmas yet, but to come back again.

A month later we attempted to do so. We were told that they were not going to restock the camera in question, and were urged to pick out another camera. We attempted to ascertain if the features on the 2 cameras we were considering purchasing were the same as the camera we originally intended to buy. These cameras were also $50+ more expensive than the original camera we wanted to buy for Christmas.

The salesperson at the time said she didn't know much about cameras. We resolved to come back to the store on another occasion when there was somebody present who could answer our questions about the different cameras.

On one occasion a couple of months ago, we did get so far as to pick out a camera that we might like to purchase, but the customer service representative did not let us look at the manufacturers box. We repeatedly requested to be able to look at the box, to see if it had information about the camera that might help us make up our mind about the purchase. The saleslady then walked away from us, and sort of wandered off, without letting us hold the box or examine it to get some more information.

We did not know where she had gotten to, or why she had just sort of wandered off without letting us look at the box. After waiting for a few minutes for her to return, we left.

Now, we are ready to make a purchase of a minimum of $150.00 for a digital camera. We want to buy the camera. We want to make an informed decision. We want to know about the product. We want somebody in your store with some knowledge about cameras to answer some of our questions.

What amazes us, completely is that your staff are not interested in their job of selling products enough to spend a few minutes with us, to help us make the purchase.

There was only one helpful employee during the half dozen times that we have attempted to buy a camera. He was an elderly gentleman, african-american. He spent several minutes talking with us, and walking us thru the different cameras. He unfortunatley did not work in the Camera/Photography department, and so he could not actually assist us with the purchase. However he did go off to try and find somebody who would help us. He returned to tell us that the person who had key or the means to open the inventory so we could look at the cameras more closely wasn't available. He urged us to come back later.

Now, this really is a unique experience for me. Never in my life have I walked into a store with $200.00 in my pocket, with the intent to purchase a product that I've wanted to buy for months and not been able to get enough customer service to conclude the purchase. If this kind of thing had only happened a couple of times, I would perhaps not be that concerned about it. But it's happened many times now.

What is wrong with your staff?
I've also noted that the staff in the electronics department are, in addition with the staff in the photography department wholly unsuited to customer service relations. I have a young child who has a nintendo64, a gamecube and a sony playstatio 2 system. I am in the habit of carefully wanting to monitor the games that we purchase for these consoles. I have had the rather strange experience on a few occasions of your customer service reps almost acting upset if I ask to look at the console games, before being willing to make a purchase. They aren't willing to open the cabinet that holds the games, unless you know exactly which game you want to purchase.

This is not acceptable customer service. When I am purchasing a game for my child, I want to know details about the game, to ascertain whether I want to spend $30-40 on a suitable subject game for my kids to enjoy. Part of the process of making up my mind about such a purchase is being able to look at the details that manufacturers put on the boxes of the games to sell the product.

I can understand that your customer service reps are young, and perhaps have not been well-schooled in the practice of salesmanship...putting the product right into people's hands is an important aspect of salesmanship. Not being able to hold the product in one's hand, and being treated like you have done something wrong by being allowed to review the product before you buy it, is just crappy customer service and poor salesmanship.

I thought you might like to know about the experience that we have had, in case you want to retrain your employees to provide better salesmanship and customer service.

Thank you for your attention to this

Dissatisfied Customer

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